JUDIE PUCKETT | GUEST
“Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God, and was going back to God, rose from supper” (John 13:3-4a).
Astronomy has always fascinated me. I remember being in elementary school when the mobile planetarium visited our class. We would sit in the dark on the floor and gaze up at the night sky, full of brilliant stars, trying to identify different constellations and distant planets. Still today, I will get up at 3:00 a.m., wrap up in lots of blankets, and venture outside to watch a winter meteor shower or catch a glimpse of a solar phenomenon. While all of these wonders always exist in our galaxy, there are only certain times of the year and specific times of the night when we actually get a glimpse of the magnificent.
In John 13, the heart and mind of the Magnificent One can be glimpsed. It is a rare treasure when the Holy Spirit allows us to peek into the thoughts of our Savior. Jesus and his disciples are gathered for their last meal together before our Messiah goes to the cross. John tells us that Jesus knows, “…his hour has come to depart out of this world….” Let’s not pass too quickly over this phrase. Jesus is about to be betrayed by a dear friend, abandoned by all His followers, suffer under the hands of ruthless enemies, die a death He doesn’t deserve and be forsaken by His Father. This is a grave moment of deep and isolating sorrow.
And yet, despite His own imminent suffering, the heart of Jesus is to move towards, and not away, from His disciples. He prepares to serve them by humbling Himself to the place of the lowest servant and washing their feet. “…Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper…poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet….”
Here is where we catch a beautiful glimpse into the heart and mind of our Suffering Servant. The Spirit shows us His thoughts, “Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands….” In that moment, Jesus remembers God’s sovereignty. In His suffering and sorrow, God’s control over every detail and facet of creation was at the forefront of His mind. What a reminder for us! Wherever you are today, whether in the midst of broken relationships, deep grief, overwhelming anxiety or an apathy that seems paralyzing, remember God is perfectly sovereign. There is not one tiny detail of your life over which God is not ruling. Every single day of your life has been written in His book before even one of them came to be (Psalm 139:16). Like Jesus, it is good for us to remember our God is the uncontested King. Remember who He is.
Going further, in this intense moment of impending despair, Jesus considers His identity. “Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God….” In these minutes, with His crucifixion coming within 24 hours, Jesus’ thoughts focus on who He is. He remembers the One to whom He belongs, and this reality is a source of comfort and strength for Him. The same holds true for us. Identity changes everything; who you are in Christ is your truest reality. You belong to the One who has determined, before the foundation of the world was laid, to set His love and affection on you and to make you His. Remember who you are.
And finally, we see that Jesus looks to the future. “Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper.” For Him, the present moment wasn’t all that there was. The fact that a better day was coming was on His mind as the most horrendous and glorious moment in history approached. One day there will be no more suffering, no more sorrow and no more pain. Every wrong will be made right. Wherever you are today, this is your hope too. A better day is guaranteed. Remember your future.
The Magnificent has made Himself known. He has chosen to reveal His loving and gracious heart to the ones He has claimed for His delight. May the truth of who He is, who you are, and the reality of your glorious future, strengthen your heart and mind as you trust Him today.
About the Author:
Judie serves as the Director of Women’s Ministries at Chapelgate Presbyterian Church in Marriottsville, Maryland. She loves studying, discussing, and teaching the Scriptures and is working toward an MDiv in Biblical Studies at Reformed Theological Seminary. She has also begun writing devotionals and Bible studies. In addition to serving at Chapelgate, Judie has enjoyed several opportunities to speak at women’s retreats and other events during the past fifteen years. She also loves traveling with her husband, sharing a cup of coffee with a friend, and playing games with her family. Judie and her husband Aaron live on a small family farm with their three teenage children.